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Data Synchronization in Mobile

Computing Systems
Lesson 02
Data Synchronization Types, Formats
and Usage Models in Mobile
Computing Systems

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Data synchronization Needs

Required between the mobile device and


service provider
Between the device and personal area
computer
With nearby wireless access point (in
WiFi connection)
Another nearby device
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1. Two-way synchronization of partial or


full copies of data

Between mobile-device and personalarea computer


For example, whenever the list of
contacts and personal information
manager data is modified at any of
them, it is made consistent after
synchronization

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2. Server-alerted synchronization

The server alerts the client the data


modification or additions
The client synchronizes the modified or
new data by pull request
For example, alerting new e-mail and
the device pulling that

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3. One-way server-initiated
synchronization

Server initiates synchronization of any


new modification since communication of
last modification
Sends modified data copies to the client
When a new email arrives at a server, it
initiates the synchronization as and when
the device connects to the server and
pushes the mail
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4. Client initiated refresh


synchronization

The client initiates synchronization with


the server for refreshing its existing data
copies
For refreshing the configuration
parameters saved at the server for it

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4. Client initiated refresh


synchronization Example

For example, a computer or mobile


device initiates refreshing of the hoarded
contacts and personal information data
either at periodic intervals or as and
when it connects

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4. Client initiated refresh


synchronization Example

if the device configuration changes or a


new device connects to a server, then
the configuration parameters sent earlier
refresh at the server

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5. Client-initiated synchronization

With the server for sending its


modifications, for example, device
configuration for the services
For example, a client mobile device
initiates synchronization of the mails or
new ring tones or music files available at
the server either at periodic intervals or
as and when it connects to it
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6. Refresh from client for backup and


update synchronization

The client initiates synchronization


Sends backup to the server for updating
its data
For example, a computer or mobile
device initiates refreshing of the hoarded
contacts and personal information data
either at periodic intervals or as and
when it connects to the server
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7. Slow (full data copy and thorough)


synchronization

Client and server data compared for


each data field and are synchronized as
per conflict resolution rules
Full copy synchronization usually takes
place in idle state of the device
Not immediately on connecting to the
server, thats why called slow
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Formats of Synchronized Data Copies

Can be different from each other at client


and server
When the data at a source synchronizes
with the data at other end, it does so as
per the format specified at that end

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Formats of Database records

The records indexed enabling search by


querying using the indexes, for example,
the relational database records
The database record retrieved by
sending a query specifying the entries in
these indexes
Format DB2 at server and DB2e Every
place at the mobile device
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Flat file Synchronization

Data can be interpreted only if the file is


read from beginning to end and that data
cannot be picked from anywhere within
the file
For example, an XML or html file at the
server synchronizes with the file at the
device which is in text format or is a
binary file depending upon the
information format
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Flat file Synchronization Example

Information format in mobile computing


XML document format
For transmission it is WBXML (WAP
Binary XML) content format
Address book data at a mobile device
with the data transmitted in WBXML
format
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Device-specific storage Format

AAC (Apple Audio Communication) files


used for audio communication with an
Apple iPhone
A file in AAC format synchronizes with
music files in some other format at a
computer or remote website serving the
music files

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Device-specific storage Format

At a mobile device the Contacts


information in vCard format
Calendar, tasks-to-do list, and journal
information are in vCalendar, vToDo, and
vJournal formats, respectively

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Usage Models for Synchronization in


Mobile Applications

Four usage models employed for


synchronization in mobile computing
systems

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1. Synchronization between two APIs


within a mobile computing system

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Synchronization between two APIs

The data generated by an application


synchronized and used in another
application
An API running at the device
synchronizes data with another
application on the same or another
device or computer

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Example of synchronization between


APIs
Data records at personal information
manager (PIM) API synchronized with the
email API
When email from a new source retrieves
at the email API in the device, the name
and email address data fields at the
application saved as new data record at
PIM API
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Example of synchronization between


APIs
When an email is to be sent to the same
person, the email API uses the same data
record from the PIM API

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2. Synchronization between the


device and nearby device

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Synchronization between the device and


nearby device

Device and computer synchronize their


data
Also called personal area
synchronization (PAS)
Using PAS software, for example,
HotSync or ActiveSync

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Examples of PAS
Synchronization with nearby PC through a
serial port using a cradle and wired
connection to PC through the cradle
Synchronization with the nearby computer
through a wireless personal area network
(WPAN) using ZigBee or Bluetooth

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3. Synchronization between remote


systems and device

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Synchronization between remote


systems and device

The device data records synchronize


with the mobile service provider server
records
The remote server or systems
synchronize their data with the mobile
device
The device connects to remote systems
on Internet through the wired, wireless
mobile service provider, or WiFi network
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Example of Synchronization
between remote systems and device
Wireless email synchronization using
Intellisync between the device and remote
server using SyncML language

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4. Synchronization through a local


pass-through system

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Using local pass through computer or


system

Device data records synchronize with the


records of remote system, for example,
an enterprise server, through a local
computer system

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Example of Using local pass through


computer or system
The device first synchronizes through
ActiveSync or HotSync or Intellisync or
Bluetooth to local computer connected by
personal area synchronizer
Then the computer synchronizes to
Internet through WLAN, WiFi, or wired
network

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Summary

Two way synchronization


Server alerted synchronization
One way server initiated
Client initiated Refresh
Client initiated synchronization
Refresh from client for backup and
update

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Summary

Slow thorough synchronization when idle


Database formats
Flat files
Device specific storage files
Synchronization between two APIs
Personal Area synchronization
Remote direct or through local pass
through system
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End of Lesson 02
Data Synchronization Types, Formats
and Usage Models in Mobile
Computing Systems

Oxford University Press 2007. All rights reserved.

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